Well, I'm home from the RT Convention with plenty of stories to tell, but I have some news to share first.
I'm thrilled to announce that My Lady Below Stairs, my novella in A CHRISTMAS BALL, has finaled in the 2010 Reader's Crown (the contest sponsored by Rom Con, the new Borders Books Romance conference being held in Denver this year!) Click here for the list of finalists in all the categories. I'm in extremely fine company.
This story is very dear to my heart. I was about half-way through writing it when I was diagnosed with colon cancer at the end of 2008. I was hustled into surgery and was profoundly grateful when we learned that the cancer had been discovered at an early stage and my prognosis is excellent.
But surgery is no light matter. I went through several months of constant pain. This was during the time when I was doing my 50day/50blog Vexing the Viscount Tour. My writing production on My Lady Below Stairs slowed to a crawl of 2 pages per day. (I did meet my deadline. I'm a fanatic about that. I'd have to be dead myself to miss one.)
In the midst of pain and weakness, the time when I slipped into the fictive dream of My Lady Below Stairs was the high point of my days. And when I turned it in, my editor said it was the funniest, sexiest thing I'd ever written. (I'd blame the drugs, but I was off them within a couple weeks of surgery!)
Finishing that novella taught me something about myself. Norman Mailer says, "Being a real writer means being able to do the work even on a bad day." My Lady Below Stairs convinced me that I'm a real writer. It was a turning point in my career and in my life.
And now I'm so delighted that this novella has been honored by the judges of the Reader's Crown Contest like this. Thank you, whoever you are!
I'll be sharing about my RT experience during the rest of this week, so I hope I'll see you here again! Right now, I need to get back to TOUCH OF A THIEF, my current WIP. It's due June 1st and I'm 250 pages in. I'll keep you posted on my progress as I go through the writing marathon my new contracts have set for me.
Today's question: Has there been a time in your life when you learned something about yourself that changed things for you?